Funding of up to £3.9 million is available through the 2021 NC3Rs CRACK IT Challenges competition (which is being run as an SBRI) for UK and EU-based academics and SMEs to develop 3Rs products and services directly targeted to meet end-user needs.

2021 Challenges

The 2021 competition includes two Challenges which cover key areas of animal use in toxicology and environmental risk assessment. Challenges are developed in collaboration with Sponsors who provide in-kind contributions to help solve the Challenge, with the aim of using any product or service developed. Challenges are supported by Partners who provide additional resources such as access to data, end-user networks and regulatory expertise to Challenge winners.

Click here for details of Challenge 40 – Second Species Mega-Challenge: towards a virtual second species in toxicology for drug development.

Challenge 41 – SAFE: Innovative Safety Assessment of Fish adverse Effects

Environmental risk assessment (ERA) evaluates the likelihood that the environment may be impacted by exposure to one or more chemical stressors and is assessed across three trophic levels with fish used as the vertebrate species when in vivo testing is required. This Challenge aims to develop a suite of innovative, scalable bioassays for key adverse outcome pathways to replace in vivo fish studies in chemical safety screening and regulatory environmental risk assessment.

The Challenge is Sponsored by AstraZeneca, Bayer AG and Unilever, with co-funding from DEFRA and the Environment Agency, supported by Challenge Partners the Health and Safety Executive.

3Rs benefitsIn vivo fish studies are often required for regulatory purposes, with approximately 1.3 million procedures conducted between 2015 to 2017, and the majority conducted at moderate severity (e.g. likely to cause short-term moderate pain, suffering or distress for the animals used). Delivery of a reliable, in vitro platform to address chemical safety in fish will reduce the number of in vivo fish studies carried out in early-stage ERA and in the longer term, providing the opportunity to fully replace in vivo animal studies for regulatory purposes.

Register for NC3Rs CRACK IT Challenges briefing webinar: Challenge 41 – SAFE (2pm, Tuesday 7th September)